I have often shared this beautiful verse in funeral services. It’s a reminder that, when a believer dies, it is in the Lord’s timing. But there is more to it than that. All our times are in His hand. He holds the past just as much as He holds the future.
This is a great antidote for regret, an encouragement against melancholy for days gone by, and a steadying, peaceful foundation for what’s ahead.
I think about my early years, growing up on a ranch in Western Colorado. My parents were full of enterprise and hope in those days, and my memories are idyllic and warm, filled with animals and apple trees and satisfying work. But small farms have a hard time turning a profit, and after ten years Dad had to sell. We moved closer to town, and life was never the same. But those times are in His hands.
My teen years were filled with pain – Dad’s death, Mom’s struggle to recover from it. But those times are in His hands.
I have a tendency to worry about opportunities I might have missed, and to obsess about “what if.” Maybe if I’d tried harder, worked longer, struck out more boldly, risked more, I would have accomplished more for Christ. But those times, and the fruit of them, are all in His hands.
Then there’s this week, there's tomorrow, and the pressure of right now. I have decisions to make, meetings to prepare for, people to pray for and encourage. It’s a busy time. But it’s all in His hands.
And of course there is the future, “when time shall be no more, and the morning breaks eternal bright and fair.” That time is in His hands.
Often I don’t understand my times, but I do know something about His hands. I know why they bear such terrible scars. They are good hands, and I am glad to be in them.